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Local Foods Expo planned for Oct. 23

Sep. 13, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- The Huntington 30 Mile Meal group is partnering with the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition to host an exhibition of local food producers in the Huntington and Tri-State area. Originally planned for July, the Huntington Local Foods Expo has been rescheduled for 1:30 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena Conference Center.

Not intended for individual consumers, the expo's goal is to connect regional food growers, producers and processors with buyers from restaurants, grocery stores, schools, institutions and other food venues. It is one of a series of regional expos to be hosted throughout the state by the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition and local partners, with support provided by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture via a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant.

Registration costs $15 for all attendees.

Plans include a sampling showcase of foods made with locally grown fruits and vegetables, as well as exhibits for organizations and agencies providing products and services that assist producers, such as product liability insurance, food packaging products, training and loans. Those interested in a booth can contact the event organizers for details.

There also will be a group "speed dating" session helping farmers and buyers get to know each other and panel discussions on building relationships between farms and food service.

Organizers also plan to compile a Buyer Grower Directory with information about the needs of each buyer and the products available from each grower.

To register for the expo or the directory, visit http://tinyurl.com/local-expo or contact event coordinator Lauren Kemp at 304-697-3007 or lauren@unlimitedfuture.org.

Kroger 2Q profit rises, helped by lower charge

CINCINNATI -- Kroger reported a higher net income for its fiscal second-quarter as the nation's largest traditional supermarket operator booked lower charges and worked to build shopper loyalty with improved offerings.

The Cincinnati-based company lifted the low end of its fiscal 2013 outlook for a key sales measurement. Shares edged higher in Thursday morning trading.

Kroger Co. said sales rose 3.3 percent at stores open at least a year during the quarter. The rise was helped by an increase in the number of "loyal" households, which Kroger defines using factors such as how much they spend and how often they visit.

Looking ahead, Kroger now expects the sales figure to increase betwee 3 percent and 3.5 percent for fiscal 2013, excluding fuel. Its previous projection was for an increase in 2.5 to 3.5 percent. Wall Street was forecasting a 3.3 percent gain.

Food plant expanding, plans to add 200 jobs

OWINGSVILLE, Ky. -- A food company in northeastern Kentucky is expanding and planning to add 200 jobs.

Custom Food Products says it is investing $44 million in the expansion project at its Owingsville plant in Bath County.

The company, which is a subsidiary of Idaho-based CTI Foods, processes meats, soups, sauces and tacos for food manufacturers and foodservice chains. CTI acquired the plant last year.

Company CEO Bobby Horowitz says CTI had been planning to grow its operations, and company officials spent time in Owingsville before deciding on the expansion.

A statement from Gov. Steve Beshear's office says the state Economic Development Finance Authority has preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $3 million.

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